Monday, July 7, 2008

Weighed Down

I hinted at this in my last post, but I need to do a good decluttering because of something that happened last week.

Basically, my hunter-gatherer skills wound up in me almost (possibly still) ruining some of my clothes--a very large container of laundry soap I bought at Costco ages ago wound up leaking and soaking about half my hanging clothes, my sheets, my towels, and everything else on the top shelf of my closet, as well as creating a huge, sticky mess on the floor (luckily it only puddled around the bottoms of my shoes and didn't drip on top of any of them). Among the potential losses are my two favorite skirts, which appear to have bled onto one another.

Ugh.

First of all, soap is one of the hardest things in the world to clean up, because it just keeps getting foamier and sudsier, not actually getting cleaned up.

Second of all, boy did I learn my lesson. Do not store something on a top shelf that has even the remotest possibility of leaking.

And thirdly...as I was separating what had streaks of detergent running down it from what didn't, I found at least three pairs of pants that I don't like. I don't wear them because I don't like them, but I've been keeping them until I replace them (using the great clothes shopping checklist of '08). But seriously? This is a waste of space and money. If I'm going to donate them, I'll have to wash them (waste of money at the laundromat). If I'm not going to donate them, that's a waste right there--they're in fine condition, I just don't like the way they fit me, but someone else could certainly benefit. What else is in my closet and dresser that I don't like and don't use? Why? If something happens and I had to clean all of it or inventory all of it, why am I hanging on to stuff I don't like?

This is also driven home by the new boyfriend. He's pretty much a minimalist. He has what he needs to live, what he actually uses, and not much else. He has about two shoeboxes full of sentimental or "just because" things. He wears about 80% of his wardrobe in frequent rotation (as opposed to my probable 20%). He and his roommate actually considered only buying service for two of everything in their kitchen, but thank goodness common sense prevailed and they bought a few extra of everything (although when we had brunch for six a few weeks ago, I had to bring over extra forks). Yes, their apartment feels like two bachelors just starting out in a lot of ways. But it also feels airy and free of clutter. It's not hard to find something you're looking for, because there's not a lot of stuff in the way.

I know there are things in my apartment I only touch when I move. I have a crochet project I've been carting around through four apartments, and I still don't understand how to read the instructions. I have a collection of shot glasses I began when I was in high school, and which I now only look at occasionally. I remember the travels without needing the souveneirs, yet they hang on my wall collecting dust. I feel weighed down by my things and the need to clean them.

It's time to embrace my minimalism, and with this, perhaps, a re-evaluation of the clothing and home shopping lists I made a few months ago. Maybe instead of acquiring, I need to divest for a while, to really figure out if I need what I think I do. And if nothing else, I can start removing items from my life without replacing them first.

4 comments:

  1. [sigh]. The story of my life! lol. I'm trying to do the same thing, and now that I'm finally getting back to my "original" size I'm actually going to be able to wear the rest of the clothes in my closet. But still, every once in a while I sit back and think "why do I have SO MUCH stuff?!!"

    Anyway, good luck with your mission!!

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  2. I think that's great. My favorite thing about moving is going through everything and getting rid of stuff I no longer need or use. But I should do it more often, maybe once or twice a year just go through everything.

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  3. I feel your pain! Since I'm moving 1500 miles (without a moving truck), I have to get rid of a lot of my stuff...okay 95% of it...I'm struggling!

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  4. I really love decluttering. We have slowly gone through the house getting rid of non-sentimental things, clothes we don't wear, old electronics, and books (Paperback Swap and Half.com; I've made about $80 in the last few weeks selling off stuff). It's part of my reclamation of my sanity. Only one closet (of mine) to go! The boyfriend is steathily hanging onto his closet for dear life. :)

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Thanks for commenting!